As I walk inside from the side door, dogs in tow, I look to my right and see it. The red light on the coffee maker is still on and I take a deep breath and smile to myself. If today is the kind of day that I can have a second cup, and it is, the coffee left in the pot will still be the perfect temperature. It will be hot, but with just the right amount of creamer, it will cool down just enough to be palatable while still remaining warm enough for the steam to build up in my glasses as I tilt the mug to my mouth for that first sip. This idyllic temperature cannot be replicated by microwave oven nor does it remain for long. Today, the stars have aligned. This morning, my husband has his own stuff to accomplish, leaving me alone to do some computer time that does not include a single meeting with anyone. As I pour that second cup and listen to the sugar dissolve into the dark liquid, I think to myself, today is going to be a particularly good day.
The stale stench of the changing rooms, lit with furious fluorescent lighting that felt like lasers when I looked at them, mixed with the laughter of my peers ricocheting around my brain, it was a recipe for sensory overwhelm.
Often seen as an elderly person’s hobby, gardening and it’s benefits to health can often be overlooked. With benefits to physical health, mental health and emotional health, I truly believe we should be discussing its value in holistic care for those with chronic illness, mental illness and disability.
Life as an autistic woman can be hard going sometimes, a balancing act between necessities that take energy from me in exchange for the means to survive and the pleasurable pursuits that replenish and restore me.
There are few things I find more soothing and energising than creating a problem to tangle my brain in. Sometimes when I feel utterly sapped of energy, and completely exhausted, I will spot an issue that needs solving and slowly wrap my mind around it.
The change can be instantaneous, or it can be a slow build that starts under a duvet with a fragment of an idea. Slowly as the hours pass, it may draw me through the house, pausing only for the necessities – dressing only if the task will require it, drinking only if my head aches from dehydration, eating only if I need the energy.